Mike and Birdy Luma hit bullseye in shooting contests, love

CASTALIA When Birdy Luma was in high school, she was lucky enough to have a boyfriend who kn
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



When Birdy Luma was in high school, she was lucky enough to have a boyfriend who knew when Sweetest Day was.

He gave her a shotgun and took her rabbit hunting.

Some say the family that plays together, stays together. But for the Lumas, it's the family that shoots together.

Mike and Birdy Luma, both 59, have spent much of their married life honing their skills as shooters -- and it shows.

Mike won the National Muzzle and Pistol Championship in September, which marked his fourth win. He holds the record for wins during the longest time span with his first win in 1974, then again in '76 and '93, and the most recent in 2007.

To win the competition, Mike successfully shot a percussion rifle, percussion pistol and percussion shot gun.

He first became interested in shooting when he was 8 or 9 years old because his grandfather also liked to shoot. Mike said he likes the historical connection shooting has.

"This was all they had when they went out into the woods," he said. "There's a lot of historical value of shooting muzzle loaders. It's the way people used to live."

Birdy has also seen her fair share of victories.

She won the All-Women's National Shoot in April and Women's Pistol Championship in June.

"She's a serious competitor in her own right," Mike said. "She's a hard shooter. She's a good shooter. She just doesn't know it yet."

Birdy contributes much of her success to her husband.

"He coaches me a lot," she said. "He's such a master shooter."

At a time in life when many people start to slow down, the Lumas are picking up pace after their retirement. Both say they enjoy the sport so much, they don't see an end in sight.

"We've looked forward to retirement so we can do more," Birdy said.

"We're not really spectators. We can't sit down and watch a football game; we want to get out and do something," Mike said. "We're so satisfied with this sport and the challenges it offers, as long as we're able, I don't think we'll give it up."

Together Mike and Birdy have four children and seven grandchildren. And the interest in shooting has been contagious, because many of the children and grandchildren have taken up the sport.

"It adds even more to it when your kids and grandkids take an interest in it," he said.